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Wenger lashes out at critics

Arsene Wenger says Arsenal will miss him when he goes, as the under-pressure manager prepares for their Champions League tie with Bayern Munich.

Arsene Wenger says Arsenal will miss him when he goes, as the under-pressure manager prepares for their Champions League tie with Bayern Munich.

The 63-year-old was in a defiant mood in his pre-match press conference, where he defended his side against recent criticism after being knocked out of the FA Cup against Championship side Blackburn.

The Frenchman also refuted claims that he was in negotiations with the club over a possible contract extension.

“I am sure you will miss me when I’m gone. Look at the teams I could have managed – I will tell you one day,” Wenger replied when asked about a possible new deal.

The loss to Blackburn on Saturday will see Arsenal continue their long run without a major trophy unless they can overcome Bayern Munich in the Champions League but Wenger reacted furiously when asked to comment on the loss.

“I have been here for 16 years and my commitment is the same as ever,” he said.

“I have been in this game for 30 years and if I was paranoid you would know already. I have worked for 16 years in England and deserve a certain respect.

“You can say I am doing a bad job but being manipulative is wrong.”

He continued his tirade by justifying what many perceived to be a weakened line-up against Blackburn.

“People say I don’t take the FA Cup seriously but I have won it four times. Name another manager who has won it four times,” Wenger fumed.

“It is disrespectful to say I put out a weakened team because we started with 11 internationals.

“There is a lot of superficial analysis. We are the only team in England who have played a season unbeaten. We have been in the final of the Champions League and consistently in the quarter-finals and semi-finals.

“People will say it is not the best opportunity now to win the competition but I think it is a fantastic opportunity because I feel I have a strong team.”

Tue 19 February, 2013
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